Gip Dammone, of Leeds restaurant Salvo’s transports us back to Italy with this tasty gnocchi recipe.

  • 60mins
  • 4
  • Medium


  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
  • Espresso cup of olive oil
  • 2 x 400g tins plum tomatoes (or bottle of passata)
  • 6 basil leaves
  • 60g Parmesan, grated
  • 150g mozzarella
  • For the gnocchi
  • 1kg potatoes (avoid waxy ones)
  • 300g plain flour (Italian 00 if possible)
  • 1 free range egg


To make the sauce, starting in a cold pan, fry the onion and garlic gently in the oil until soft – this should take about five minutes. Add the tomatoes, season and bring to the boil before simmering for 30 minutes. I use a potato masher to break the tomatoes down after 10 minutes or so. Season to taste. Finally, add the basil.
For the gnocchi, boil the potatoes (start in salted cold water) in their skins until tender. When cooked, leave to drain and dry out. When they are cool enough, peel them.
Pass the potatoes through a food ricer into a bowl while still warm, then fold in the flour and the egg. Do not mix too aggressively as you do not want to start stretching the gluten in the flour which will make the gnocchi heavy. A common mistake is to have the mix too soft, so keep adding the flour until it is as firm as short pastry (or a ball of Play-Doh!).
Knead the flour into the dough a little at a time. The mixture should be pliable but stiff. Remember you will be boiling the gnocchi and if the dough is too soft it will turn sludgy and wet.
Flour the dough and cover with a clean tea towel and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Cutting off a piece at a time, roll into long rods with a 2-3cm diameter – like a roll of pound coins. Now slice the rod into medallions about 2cm long, lightly dusting with flour to prevent them sticking.
Place a regular table fork with the points down on the table. Take one gnocco and, pressing very gently, roll it down the fork to curl it ever so slightly and put ridges on it. Repeat with the rest of the gnocchi.
Rest the gnocchi for 15 minutes, then boil in salted water for five minutes or so until they float. Drain and add to the heated sauce, stirring gently.
Add the Parmesan and place in the ovenproof dish. Top with mozzarella and a little more Parmesan and bake in a very hot oven for 10 minutes to gratinate.

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